Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Erik!

I can't believe it's been 2 years (that's what most parents say as their little ones get older, right)? It's true, but I'm more dumbfounded by the fact that Keith and I have survived the last 2 years being outnumbered by 3 boys!

Congrats to us!!

Back to Erik.

We decided since Erik's birthday was on a Wednesday we would celebrate his birthday the Sunday before. We had plans to head over to Chuckee Cheese, play some games and head back home for presents and cake. Julie and Jamie were going to join us for the festivities!!

Uh oh. Here comes the snow and ice.

It started coming down really heavy that morning, so after JJ made it about 10 minutes towards our house from Pewaukee they had to turn around and go home. We had to explain to Erik that their safety came before him. He was so upset. (No, not really, but we missed them anyways).

We decided to still head over to Chuck's and brave the ice. Mostly because we were set to have a date night later that evening and it didn't seem right to not venture out for that but turn around 6 hours later and go out just the 2 of us (see ya)!!

We had fun. Came back home and enjoyed the ugly yet scrumptious cake I made. Opened presents. Had a couple meltdowns (Erik, not me). Took naps!

I'm very thankful for the last 2 years and I enjoy watching Erik grow!
Happy Birthday Baby Erik!

Sigh of Relief

After 3 months, 2 ultrasounds, 1 cat scan and countless doctor visits later, today is the first time I feel relief in awhile. Oh, don't forget the approximate $1500 I owe out of pocket too.

Last night I got the results from my last ultrasound and my cyst is GONE!! I was hoping for it to be smaller, and then next steps would be another follow-up in 6-weeks until it eventually went away. Thankfully it went away during this round and I don't need to do the ovarian cancer test that the doctor was suggesting 6 weeks ago.

Huge sigh of relief here.

Whenever I receive a "clean bill of health" it definitely makes me stop and think about the fortunate things in my life. Health should be #1 and it's something that most often I take for granted.

Just this morning I saw someone pushing a child in a wheelchair to school. Think about what it's like to take care of someone in a wheelchair (I can't imagine) and then get out there and walk in the freezing cold, snow and icy streets. Who am I to complain about having to get my kids dressed and myself for the winter and get them out the door?

Then on the way to work I saw an elderly man who drove to his mailbox to get the mail. It makes sense with how far away it was from the farm house, and having to walk across the ice in the driveway. It seems like a petty thing when I complain about running out in the front in the cold to grab the mail.

There are countless times around town that I see people standing out in the nasty weather waiting at the bus stop. Mothers with their kids in strollers, elderly people carrying bags of groceries; as I drive by in my warm and comfortable car.

So today is one of those days where I am thankful I can walk, have a car, warm clothes, kids to take care of…and most of all…


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jill & Ollie Visit WI

This is late. Jill and Ollie came to visit about 2 months ago right before Christmas. We had a blast!

They flew into Milwaukee on Friday so Kolbe and I went out to get them from the airport. We came back home and let the boys play for a few hours out in the snow, hung out around the house, and then dropped the boys off at the gym (Parents Night Out) for a few hours so Jill and I could grab some dinner and catch up.

Had a great meal at Villa Dolce (my fav)!

Throughout the weekend we squeezed a lot in. Taking the boys to the Caves, sledding on the hill, walking on the ice, eating at Ella's Diner and driving over an hour to get to the Train Barn! The boys spent a lot of time outside, making cupcakes and watching movies and I think they had fun hanging out together. I can't believe Jill and Ollie took the time to come out and stay with us. I know it must have been hard with all 3 of our loud and crazy boys!

What a great best friend I have!

There were a lot of times I watched Kolbe and Ollie and definitely wished they lived closer to each other to play more often. Jill and I were the exact same age they are right now when we met and started a friendship, and I think it's really neat that now our kids are able to play together and share experiences!

You can't ask for anything better than that!
Thanks Jill and Ollie!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Initially, I was going to title this post "Old Age", but it's not necessarily old age I'm experiencing, it's more just a grouping of "changes" that I've noticed over the last several months that I should just accept.

1) I absolutely loathe the mall. Everything about it. The amount of people packed into a single space, the people standing around waiting for you to buy, the play area, the food court, the sounds, the mall walkers. All of it. I remember LOVING the mall. I could spend hours and hours walking around shopping, having lunch, seeing movies and just hanging out with friends. Now if I have to go I rush in to get what I need and leave.

2) I'm addicted to thrift shops. 25 years ago my grandmother used to drag me around to flea markets and garage sales. They were tolerable, but it wasn't the greatest thing in the world. When I started being able to drive on my own I never went back. But now, in the last year especially, I find myself going every single weekend. (So does my Mom and Grandmother). I like looking for stuff for the kids, clothes that would fit into my wardrobe and anything that I don't want to spend full price on. I'm also determined to find a hidden treasure where I can turn around and sell it for gobs of money.

3) I refuse to watch anything on MTV anymore. No more Road Rules, Teen Mom, Real World and whatever else they're playing now - it's sure not music videos! I can't tolerate watching teens and young adults and all the drama. I feel like I can't really relate to that age group anymore, and it's definitely not something I idolize to be.

4) My taste in clothes has changed. Or should I say, what I CAN wear has changed. I can't say I've always been the most fashion-forward dresser. I think I have an eye for what looks nice and what doesn't, but replicating a look is not my forté. Now, I look at clothes in the store and find myself picking things that are a style shift from where I was even 5 years ago. No more sleeveless shirts, no more short shorts, nothing even remotely close to a "club" outfit will be seen on this body anytime in the near future, or ever.

In a moment of reflection on these, I sound old. That's my personal opinion about my own process of aging, and not so much what society constitutes as "old".

Maybe I'm just getting there in my head sooner than I'd like, or maybe I'm just going through "changes"?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Goal Complete: Take the Boys Bowling

Enough said.

New Reward System

Keith and I have been doing a reward system with the boys ever since Kolbe put his first dish in the dishwasher about 4 years ago. I quickly drew up a star chart and decided that one dish constituted a completion of a "chore".

The star charts were quite a success, but we got bored of it and decided to switch to marble jars. By this time Nick was old enough so I'd say we've been doing the marble thing about 2 years now. Rewarding good behavior by giving marbles and taking them away for bad behavior. Once full they get a reward (toy). This system works great, but the older they get the more they challenge us and push the limits so we (meaning I) decided it's time for another change!

I have been eyeing these charts for at least 6 months now, always saying "no" in my head due to the cost. I definitely didn't want to have buyers remorse over something that wasn't a super cute article of clothing.

But this weekend I gave in and bought 2 of them. One for Kolbe and one for Nick…we'll get one for Erik when he's a bit older and when we're $20 richer.

I have to say, we're only on Day #3 but this chart is WORKING! Our boys are really responding to it. Admittedly, it does take a lot more time and effort. We had to sit down with them and explain how it was going to work and choose the items they needed to work on for the week: things like not whining, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, etc. Then we explained how if they do those things (5 times for each in a week) then they can pick an item from their list (getting ice cream, eating at Ella's, $5 or going to Chuckee Cheese, etc). We really have to pay attention a lot more to their actions and interact with the chart more which holds us all more accountable. It makes me stay on top of my game too.

I told the boys I would lay out their clothes for them each night so they were ready to go and hanging on a shelf in their closet. Well both mornings this week I've heard Kolbe jump out of bed, get himself dressed and go downstairs. When I get down there he's completely ready and tells me "I'm all grown up and dressed on my own, so I can get my reward!".

We might be in the honeymoon phase of the chart but that's OK with me!! I HIGHLY recommend the Melissa and Doug charts!! Glad I coughed up the dough!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Love Day!

Remember being in elementary school and celebrating Valentine's Day? I wonder if kids now have that same nostalgia? Having brown paper bags at your desk, wondering who I would get a Valentine from. How many would I get? Would I get more than most people in the class and would I get one from the boy I had a crush on?

Everything was hand-made and everything was a big deal. It definitely wasn't a mass production of Spongebob cards the size of a credit card back in 1985.

Those were the days.

Now, Valentine's Day really isn't a holiday I think too much about. I like chocolate, that's the best part. I think my excitement over it all ended when my 20's ended. Now I live through my kids. And as my procrastinating side and parental side merged I ended up working on stuff this weekend and somewhat enjoying it. 38% chore and 62% fun.

I brought strawberries and marshmallows into work that were dipped in chocolate. Those were fun to make. Helped Nickolas and Kolbe get their cards ready for school (Spongebob and kittens). And Keith made rice crispy treats for 3 classes at his school. And we bought chocolates for all the boys' teachers. Now if I were a SuperMom we would have sat all weekend and created hand-made cards like in the "good 'ol days". But I'm no SuperMom!

I'm looking forward to seeing what the boys bring home, and going through the cards (aka seeing Barbie, Spongebob, and whatever other trendy characters are out there). I'm also looking forward to seeing if they brought home…


Happy Love Day Everyone!